We are what we measure.   It's time to measure what we want to be.

Sustainable community indicator checklist

The sustainable community indicator checklist consists of the following 14 questions:
  1. Does the indicator address the carrying capacity of the natural resources -- renewable and nonrenewable, local and nonlocal -- that the community relies on?
  2. Does the indicator address the carrying capacity of the ecosystem services upon which the community relies, whether local, global, or from distant sources?
  3. Does the indicator address the carrying capacity of esthetic qualities -- the beauty and life-affirming qualities of nature -- that are important to the community?
  4. Does the indicator address the carrying capacity of the community's human capital -- the skills, abilities, health and education of people in the community?
  5. Does the indicator address the carrying capacity of a community's social capital -- the connections between people in a community: the relationships of friends, families, neighborhoods, social groups, businesses, governments and their ability to cooperate, work together and interact in positive, meaningful ways?
  6. Does the indicator address the carrying capacity of a community's built capital -- the human-made materials (buildings, parks, playgrounds, infrastructure, and information) that are needed for quality of life and the community's ability to maintain and enhance those materials with existing resources?
  7. Does the indicator provide a long-term view of the community?
  8. Does the indicator address the issue of economic, social or biological diversity in the community?
  9. Does the question address the issue of equity or fairness -- either between current community residents (intra-generational equity) or between current and future residents (inter-generational equity)?
  10. Is the indicator understandable to and useable by its intended audience?
  11. Does the indicator measure a link between economy and environment?
  12. Does the indicator measure a link between environment and society?
  13. Does the indicator measure a link between society and economy?
  14. Does the indicator measure sustainability that is at the expense of another community or at the expense of global sustainability?

These questions are discussed in detail on the following page.